Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What a Difference a (Half) Century Makes

Whatever happened to baritone--deep-throated, resonant--singers? Baritones were the rage of the 1930s, 1940's, and 1950's. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como? I guess they and their voices went out of style with John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Robert Mitchum...who and what was then complimentarily called, and now disparagingly referred to as...the sights and sounds of men's men.

Since the late 1960's--deep-throated, barrel-chested men (and singers) have been replaced with will o'the wisp performers who mostly wouldn't be caught dead looking like an athlete (hip-hoppers excepted); or for that matter, clean shaven (I suppose women put up the scratchy kisses much more now than in my days--perhaps they have tougher faces? I remember in my youth, being asked openly, more than once, to shave before climbing into bed for a late-evening of frolic. Oh well...maybe kissing's out of style...'let's just get it on' is the bed-battle-cry of the new century! No need to shave; we're not going to kiss anyway! "Oh, by the way, what's your name?"), and, concomittantly, in the world of sound, baritones have been replaced by screetchers and screamers, falsettos and the sounds of confusing androgyny.

The sights...and sounds...of a half century of progress.


Post a Comment

<< Home